Katherine Streeter for NPR
Anya Kamenetz is a NPR education correspondent, a host of Life Kit and author of The Art of Screen Time . Parenting: Screen Time And Your Family .
Elise Potts picked up her 17-month-old daughter, Eliza, from daycare recently.
"My husband … he's waving his arms around like a crazy man." Potts says. "He has these things in his hands, he has a black box on his face … and [Eliza] looks and she points, all confused, and she says, 'Daddy?'
Daddy, it turned out, had a new Oculus virtual reality headset.
Potts, who lives in Seattle, can not help but wonder what her daughter is making of all the digital technology that surrounds her. Eliza's reaction, she says, is "really cute, but it's terrifying because I think it's from her perspective."
It's a good question. Jenny Radesky, who sees patients at the University of Michigan and is one of the top researchers in the field of parents, children and new media
"The telephone has decades to reach 50 million global users, and we had Pokemon Go do that within, like, two and a half weeks," Radesky says.
Most of us feel like we're failing, at least at times, to manage the competing bids for attention that come from work, kids, partners, and from our digital devices.
What do you want to do?
Most of us would like to have dinner with you with headphones in, let alone a VR headset. Dubbed "technoference."
For Potts, like many parents, this is a point of contention. [my husband] wants to get a notification on this phone, and he thinks as long as he puts the phone out of [Eliza’s] eyesight that's OK. "" It just really drives me crazy. "
Radesky recently published. Radesky's study suggests it could be dangerous.
If glancing at the phone is more or less unconscious habit, as Radesky's study suggests, it could be dangerous.
But Radesky has insights about the more subtle, emotional effects of this dynamic – what she calls the "micro-interactions" among parents, kids, and screens.
Stop using the phone as a pacifier – for you or your kid.
Potts frets over this situation with her daughter: "We're on a bus, we've been out for a while, and we're going home meltdown … So I pull out the phone. "
She wants to know," Is that a bad thing? "
Radesky says this is incredibly common.  and by their parents.
 By following families over time, they have a bi-directional flow between parents 'screen use and kids' emotional issues, tantrums and acting out, or conversely, becoming more withdrawn.
The more stressed parents
Rad, the more parents turn to screens for themselves or their kids, the more their kids tend to act out add that when you check out your phone in a tough moment, you know that it can help you make a better parenting experience.
"We need to be watching, listening, and gathering evidence so we can respond in
- Use apps like Moment or Screen Time to track your screen and block the phone from working at times – like during dinner.  Keep it out of sight and out of mind: Create a charging station near the front door;
- Here's How To Pick The Best Kids Apps For Family Vacations “/>